The WAFLW season is well and truly underway, with the first three rounds putting an exciting display of talent on show amongst the teams.

Fremantle’s Dana East, Meg Kauffman, Amy Mulholland, Airlie Runnalls, Ariana Hetherington and Jess Low have already played in some matches to date, with more players expected to participate in rounds to come.

AFLW Senior Coach Lisa Webb said the opportunity to play in WAFLW during AFLW’s off-season is a chance for the players to work on their focus areas, while exploring other positions.

“It’s been really exciting and gives them the opportunity to get some touch and experience in other positions,” Webb said.

Dana East (East Perth), Airlie Runnalls (Subiaco), Amy Mulholland (Subiaco)
Round one saw Dana East come up against teammates Amy Mulholland and Airlie Runnalls in an East Perth v Subiaco match, with Subiaco taking home the victory.

East’s game ended early after she sustained an ankle injury during the match.

“It’s a risk with getting girls to go back and play WAFLW, but they can offer a lot to the Clubs and hopefully provide assistance with developing the other players down there,” Webb said.

“Unfortunately for Easty (Dana East), someone fell across her leg during the round one match in the WAFLW.

“She sustained a syndesmosis injury (high ankle sprain) and has had surgery which went well.

“We don’t expect it to impact her pre-season. It’s disappointing for her, but she’s a tough character and she’ll be back out there in no time.”

Positive takeaways from the match saw Mulholland voted among the best for the match, kicking two goals for Subiaco, as well as finishing with 14 disposals.

“Playing in the WAFLW gives Amy a greater opportunity be able to work on her craft and versatility and she’s been really proactive with growing her game," Webb said.

Runnalls also hit the scoreboard for Subiaco with two goals and ended on 16 disposals for the match.

“Airlie has put a really solid pre pre-season together and is another player who is really driven to work on facets of her game at WAFLW level,” Webb said.

“She wants to continue to build her game and her ability to hit the scoreboard is really pleasing, but also the small things she’s been able to do around the contest will add another element to her game.”

Meg Kauffman (West Perth)
Round two and three saw midfielder/forward Meg Kauffman go back to her roots at West Perth with back-to-back outstanding performances.

Kauffman racked up 25 touches (including 23 kicks) and 15 inside 50s in round two, and amassed 29 disposals in round three, voted among the best for her side in both rounds.

“Meg has had a really big impact going back to play for West Perth, a team she works for as well, which is exciting for her,” Webb said.

“Meg is a great person and leader, who continues to offer great support to those players around her. Her ability to impact the contest and build on the connection between lines is what is most pleasing for us."

Jess Low (Claremont)
Defender Jess Low played the last two rounds for Claremont, racking up 16 disposals (including eight kicks) kicks and a goal in round three.

“JLow (Jess) has been a superb player for us, usually at half-back, but in order for her to develop her game, we’re asking her to play in different positions and she’s always one to put up her hand,” Webb said.

“This is a great outlet for her to experience playing on the wing and inside.

“Jess is another one that offers great effort, support for those around her at the contest and leadership down there at Claremont.

“She will continue to build and we’re looking forward to seeing her have a more versatile role going into the AFLW season.”

Ari Hetherington (South Fremantle)
Ruck/forward Ari Hetherington went back to her old Club, South Fremantle for rounds two and three, and was voted among the best in round three with 19 touches (including 14 kicks) and a goal.

“Ari was really keen to get back to playing WAFLW having a strong year last year and building on her experience. She’s had a great impact at South Fremantle already,” Webb said.

“We’ve been playing her at half-forward, but we know she can play as a ruck and move down back as well so she’s very versatile for us.

“When she played on the weekend, she took some great contested grabs against a really solid opposition.”

Future rounds in the WAFLW will see more Fremantle players take part as an extra touch point to their pre pre-season.